Troubador The Amazing Tale of Anna Himmel and the Gold Sovereign

Released: 28/09/2014

eISBN: 9781783065837

Format: eBook

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The Amazing Tale of Anna Himmel and the Gold Sovereign


Five stories, five people, mysteriously connected by a gold sovereign. A young soldier critically wounded at Passchendaele. A mute little girl in 2004, having to find her voice to commit a great act of bravery. A young gay man facing terrible evil in 1960’s Manchester. A homeless woman struggling to stay alive on the freezing streets of London in 1902. In the present day, Martin Griegson, a redundant banker exposed to the darker aspects of contemporary gay London.

In 1878, Anna Himmel leaves her family home in Bavaria to emigrate to New York. Through a chance meeting of the man who will later become her husband, she travels instead to London, a decision that changes her life and the lives of her descendants for generations to come. Settling in Whitechapel, she makes friends with a group of street prostitutes who will lead her towards her destiny. In 2011, Martin Griegson learns that Anna Himmel is one of his ancestors. He is intrigued to find that somehow a gold sovereign that belonged to her connects the stories of his family and friends. Employed at an LGBT outreach centre in Soho by Iris and Olga, who have their own stories to tell, following on from the events of The Lost Boy, the Doodlebug and the mysterious number 80 – Stevie Henden’s first novel – Martin embarks on a personal journey of learning, where he has to eventually confront his own demons.

The Amazing Tale of Anna Himmel and the Gold Sovereign explores the determination and multi-faceted nature of the human spirit and different aspects of love; motherly, faithful, unconditional and enduring, through to obsessional. The book asks questions about how our own lives are affected by the people we meet and the choices that we make – and how the seemingly random acts of fate that lead us toward our final destiny may not be so random at all... This multi-layered, evocative novel will appeal to adult readers who enjoy gay and fantasy fiction.

I have now written by second book which is called 'The Amazing tale of Anna Himmel'. This is currently being edited. It follows the story of a young German, half Jewish woman, coming to London in 1878 settling in Whitechapel, and befriending Mary Kelly who was Jack the Ripper's last victim. It also tells the storey of Ben, who is researching his family tree in the present day, and is intrigued by Anna Himmels storey, It covers his own personal journey through the ups and downs of gay life in London as he gradually discovers that a mysterious Gold Sovereign, formally belonging to Anna links many of the family stories together. 'Anna' continues some of the characters storey's from 'the Lost Boy' and is an exploration of fate and destiny and something else beyond. Watch this space for more details and publication date...

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Stevie Henden

‘I am a born and bred Londoner proud of my Cockney roots and my family’s story which started in the slums of Whitechapel in the 19th Century is very inspirational to me. I now live in Dulwich with my beloved partner of 22 years, Neil and our loyal, affectionate cat Max. 
I have enjoyed an exciting and eclectic adulthood, which started with a whiff of joss stick and flared jeans in the early 70’s, an era, which has greatly informed my very liberal values and open minded world view .

My writing has been inspired by both my life experiences and also,

- Doctor Who, my all time Fave TV show

-The film Random Harvest

-The film A Matter of Life and Death

- The books of Michael Moorcock-particularly 'the dancers at the end of time' trilogy

-'The Mists of Avalon' by Marion Bradley

I have a deep sense of emotion, and spirituality and this was expressed in the 80’s within a neo pagan group, and I spent some great summer solstice nights under the moon and stars on Glastonbury Tor. The amazing energy, the Pagan view of the Universe and of the beauty of humanity shape my views and values to this day. I love to ponder on the mysteries of the universe and the far beyond and hope that one day, perhaps beyond this life, I will have all the answers.’

Stevie Henden

November 2012

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